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Author Topic: lightning arrester & surge protecters  (Read 2121 times)

Posts: 43

« on: November 16, 2011, 11:22:16 AM »

I'm a newbie and trying to set up a shack while studying for test.
Recently given a like new TS-520S,SP520,Shure mic.,Dentron Jr. monitor, Autek QF-1A & G5RV.
I have built a home brew 40ft. mast and drove a 8 ft. copper ground approx.8"-12" from base of
mast. The mast was built so it could be taken down in bad weather. What type of lightning protection should I install power surge,lightning arrester or both.
Thank you in advance
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 11:24:12 AM by WHALER13 » Logged

Posts: 2483

« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 11:53:38 AM »

I (nor anybody else) can properly answer your question in the space given here.  So much depends on your "lay-out", soil conditions, heighth of surrounding structures and trees, etc, etc, etc.

First I suggest that you google "Polyphaser" and read what they have to say about lightning protection.  Many of us think this is the best site available on the subject.

An 8 foot long ground rod is a start but by itself, it usually leaves A LOT to be desired.  Another thing you should do is to run a large (#6 or larger) copper wire in a straignt line from the mast base (ground rod) to the ground rod at your electrical service entrance.  This wire can (should) be buried.  IMO lightning does not like to turn corners so try to run it in a straight line.

Regardless it is much better to get rid of lightning energy before it gets into the house than trying to "arrest" it once it does.

Dick  AD4U
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 11:59:58 AM by AD4U » Logged

Posts: 1790

« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 11:56:36 AM »

Hi.  There are many, many, long detailed discussion here on eham.  Go back and bring some of them up. Lots of good correct advise and a few myths. You need to
sort them out.  

ONE rod is not anywhere near enough ground. You need many rods if you want REAL lightning protection.

Remember:  you will be trying to guide MILLIONS of watts and volts to ground. Small or simple stuff is simply not up to that task.

Making the effort to put in a good lightning ground will give you major peace of mind when those big boomers are all around you!

Again, do some "homework" here in the archives and you will get some good stuff.

73,  K0ZN

Posts: 157

« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 12:51:12 PM »

The real answer here is that grounding is covered by the National electrical code, assuming you live in the US.  If not, I would expect that most countries have something comparable.  You should be able to look it up online.  Also, don't be afraid to talk to an electrician. 

You'll also want to research bonding, which in your case would involve making a strong mechanical (no solder!) connection from your ground rod to the AC service ground, which Dick touched on earlier.

I have to agree with K0ZN--when I started researching grounding/bonding I was amazed at all the conflicting info posted in forums like this one.  The Polyphaser pointer is a good one and should provide some great reading. 

Posts: 7

« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 06:22:27 PM »

You got good answer also you could have a look at W8JI site, he covers almost any aspect of radio station with good basic explanation. This cannot be a quick answer depending of what you are looking as protection. Lightnings power are unique per region. I will add a second ground rod where your cables enter your house as minimum with a bulkhead connection to a metal panel and better to install the lightning gas discharge. Now stay away with those that just use a plug with direct connection. Now a lightining is a pulsed AC from 30 khz to 1 mhz, this is why inductance is our main concern which is not an issues with the electrical code. To lower it the wire needs wide surface like flat but this is expensive. An alternative will be to use 2-3 wires parallel going to the ground rod.
A good gas protection will also include a RF choke for static, dc blockage and a resistance. Do not forget static build-up from rain and snow. I got mine from Industrial Communication Engineer, to cover protection for RF, DC, AC line, data.
Each equipment used in your radio room should be grounded to your main ac power and at your ground rod outside your house. MOV surge protection is mandatory for each AC line. The idea is to get everything at the same potentiel in usec time. Best protection will include gas discharge circuit for AC line, Internet cable, phone line.
Good luck
Rejean va2am
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